Trying to write a weekly piece has really made respect those that do it. Maybe I wouldn’t as much if that was my only job - it is fun - but trying to pop it regularly and come up with a theme/idea each week in the middle of job, coaching, relationship and life in general makes me appreciate those that do it that much more. Tom Shatel and Sam McKewon among others - this paragraph’s for you.
Now that being said, I’m at sports overload on several fronts and have given up trying to find a central theme for The Rule this week. I’ve narrowed my ravings down to three things, so grab a shot of your favorite “sports drink” and climb down the rabbit hole with me.
Creed 2 Is Almost Here!!
Since daring to believe is starting to become a thing again, let’s talk a little Creed 2. It’s coming out November 20th which means I’ll be in a theater for a late showing after hockey practice. I was nervous early on (again) that perhaps they were milking things a little too hard trying to squeeze out another Rocky movie.
Then I read that director Steven Caple Jr. not only had started winning awards directing shorter films but also attended film school with Ryan Coogler who masterfully directed Creed and should have gotten credit for directing Sylvester Stallone to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. (No offense, Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies was wonderful but that trophy was Sly’s. There’s a reason he took home every other prize for that performance. I will not budge on this. Moving on.)
Anyhow, I’m fired up beyond belief. Based on the trailers, here are my predictions for how Creed 2 will unfold. And I’m fully confident that Caple, Coogler and Stallone will prove me wrong.
- Given the scene that shows Adonis in the hospital beat to hell and the fact that he damn near beat the best pound for pound fat British fighter in the world in Creed on just a few weeks training, I’m guessing that -
- a) he is immensely talented and will quickly become the world champ by beating Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler (played by Andre Ward who is listed in the Creed 2 credits) as the movie kicks off and win back the Mustang he lost in his LA gym beatdown in the first movie and -
- b) we will then be treated to a Rocky III opening-style “Eye of the Tiger” montage of him raking through a few years of title defenses
- He, of course, has a beating in his future. At that point, there may be the temptation to further copy Rocky III and subject Donny to a beatdown from Viktor Drago and then a redemption win a la Clubber Lang. However, in the last trailer there’s a clip of young Drago slaughtering another muscled-up Slavic-looking fighter. I’m going to say this guy knocks the shit out of a complacent Adonis, wins his title and puts him in the hospital.
- Viktor Drago then pummels said dude senseless and wins the light-heavyweight title from him.
- (Unless Donny gets Tysoned by a heavyweight trying to make the Michael Spinks jump to 190+. Otherwise, we have to suspend belief that these 235 pound Russians are 175 pound light-heavies. )
- At this point Ivan and Viktor head to Philly to call out Adonis. There’s a clip where Ivan tells Rocky he took everything from him. It takes some incredible dickheadedness to play the victim over losing a fight 33 years ago while ignoring that he murdered Rocky’s best friend in the ring while jacked up on ‘roids, but Ivan has a little Urban Meyer in him, I guess.
- They call out Donny publicly much like Apollo calling out Rocky in Rocky II.
- Shocker, it doesn’t take much motivation to get Donny in the ring with the son of the guy WHO KILLED HIS FUCKING DAD.
- Rocky fearing another Creed will “die in these hands” bows out as trainer.
- It must now be noted that Wood Harris - Julius Campbell in “Remember The Titans” and Avon Barksdale in “The Wire” - was criminally underused in Creed as the son of Duke who trained Apollo in Rocky’s I & II and Rocky in Rocky’s III, IV and Balboa. Duke gave one of the great all-time sports movie speeches in Rocky IV.
“You’re gonna go through hell worse than any nightmare you ever dreamed. But in the end, I know you’ll be the one standing”
- So Donny will head to LA and Little Duke, who probably thought of Apollo as an uncle, will agree to train him since they can’t “let that slide”.
- Btw, I don’t see Little Marie in the cast list again. Too bad. Kinda liked her and her boy, Steps in Rocky Balboa
- In case any one needs reminding, there was no Rocky V.
- Allegedly, Milo Ventimiglia was spotted on set. Would love if he was back in the cast, he was my favorite Rocky’s son. But see below.
- Part of the trailer shows the Dragos at the top of the stairs at the Philly Art Museum. Yes, those stairs. Oh. Hell. No. Note to Trump fans: Russia sucks. Doesn’t anyone remember the frigging 70’s and 80’s Olympics??? Never forget.
- Rocky will join Donny and Little Duke for training in the desert shortly. Rocky is not Adrian. He will not bandwagon back on 5 minutes before the fight.
- The storyline will play out like Ali-Foreman in Zaire. Frazier whipped Ali. Foreman destroyed Frazier (DOWN GOES FRAZIER! DOWN GOES FRAZIER!) Howard Cosell and others feared Ali could be seriously hurt or killed in the ring. Ali shook up the world for the second time. Insert Creed for Ali, muscular Russian for Frazier, Viktor Drago for Foreman
- By the way, young Drago appears to be Ukrainian which means Drago, who I’m guessing harbors as much hate for Russia as he does for Rocky, was actually Ukrainian but under the CCCP flag. I’m betting the muscle-bound dude is Russian and there’s a whole revenge on Russia, screw you Putin for invading the Ukraine and screw Russia for abandoning me angle that will be played out by young Drago beating the living shit out of the Russian dude in Moscow followed by both Dragos staring down a Putin look-alike. Ivan wants to take care of every motherfucker that wronged him. Including Russia.
- Anyhow, game on and Adonis will chop the
RussianUkranianian down. Naturally.
- Rocky lives. Or maybe dies a nice, quiet death while reading to Adrian’s tombstone a couple weeks after the fight. And Milo Ventimiglia is just going to do a cameo at the largest funeral in Philly’s history. I have no idea. Please don’t kill Rocky. Dammit, Creed 2 predictions are over. I can’t discuss this further.
The Myth of Urban’s Fury
The college football sporting press has long championed this weird theory that whenever Ohio St. loses, then gawd help you if you are the next team on the Buckeyes’ schedule because Urban Meyer becomes so enraged at losses that his team is terrified into destroying the next opponent like Mr. T rolling through heavyweight contenders in the Rocky III “Eye of the Tiger” montage. (No, I’m not letting the Rocky theme go just yet.)
Personally, I don’t think Urban scrunching his rat face up and getting short with reporters after a loss causes his players to wet themselves in fear of disappointing him and playing as if their scholarship will be yanked if they miss an assignment.
I looked up every Ohio St. loss under Coach Rat to see if there is any basis in fact for this. Keep in mind that, if true, there should be some serious wreckage in the games following a Buckeye loss, not just a victory that would likely be the outcome if Urban wasn’t redlining and using his magical powers of fury to cow the roster in fear of disappointing such a fearsome
(Year/loss/following game/comments - loss in bowl game or CFP playoff carries over because pundits make a big deal about how much worse it will be if Urbs has the summer to stew)
L 34-24 Michigan St. - L 40-35 Clemson - Clemson not terrified
L 40-35 Clemson. - W 34-17 Navy - Trailed 7-6 at half. Didn’t exactly imprint their rage on a service academy.
L 35-21 Virginia Tech - W 66-0 Kent St. - Urban Fury pretty debatable here. It’s Kent St.
L 17-14 Michigan St. - W 42-13 Michigan - Only lead 14-10 at half. No Urban Fury points for halftime adjustments & screaming. Buckeyes under Urban’s terrible thrall are supposed to imprint their will on teams from the opening kickoff.
L 24-21 Penn St. - W 24-20 Northwestern - Beating Northwestern by 4 is an Urban Fury fail
L 31-0 Clemson - W 49-21 Indiana - Trailed 14-13 at half and this was a HUGE Urban Fury game in the media. They got waxed by 31 in the CFP semi-final & the press pushed hard on the storyline that Indiana would be the ones to pay. Leading the Buckeyes 14-13 at halftime is not paying. It’s more like walking out on your tab.
L 31-16 Oklahoma - W Army 38-7 - Led only 17-7 at the half against what would be a 10-3 Army team whose three losses included Tulane & North Texas. Where’s the rage??
L 55-24 Iowa - W 48-3 Michigan St. - Finally! URBAN FURY!!!
Conclusion: Eight losses only resulted in one follow-up game where it could reasonably be said that the Buckeyes hit the field breathing fire the next time out. The narrative that Urban’s rage at losing somehow wills his team into fire-breathing follow-up performances is pretty much utter bullshit. Much like Urban’s insistence on always doing the right thing.
Is It Time For Nebraska’s Rocky Moment?
I literally can’t remember the last time Nebraska took down a national heavyweight and I’m too lazy to look. I only know we are due and as silly as it is to consider it could happen against a team that has collectively beaten us about 427 - 14 the last two years, the stars might be aligning.
- Ohio St.’s secondary is vulnerable
- No Nick Bosa
- See above - the Wrath of Urban after a loss is crap
- I don’t care what anyone says - taking a 29-point loss in the crotch from Purdue will cause many to seriously question themselves. Keep in mind what a 24-point loss to a highly ranked Colorado did to a Husker superpower.
- An Urban Meyer news “leak” this week concerning a brain cyst came out.
- Of course it’s far too early to consider this, but screw it. Does anyone else think Urban might be laying the groundwork for another “medical retirement” like he did at Florida when floorboards starting getting a little loose beneath his feet?
- All is not well in Columbus right now.
- A loss to 2-6 Nebraska on the heels of Purdue might cause some fans and administrators to reassess their views about the harboring of sexually deviant wife-beaters on the football staff.
- If the Huskers jump to a lead, Buckeye fans might get nervous more quickly and quiet down.
- My playlist has the theme from “Superman” playing as I type this. That CAN’T be a coincidence.
- For all of the bitching about the offensive line earlier this season, they’ve quietly been blocking for an offense that’s been rolling out 500+ yard games like cheap carpet at Mrs. B’s and springing long rushes at their best clip in years. We will get some points.
- We defend an offense similar to Ohio St. every day in practice. That hasn’t been the case for awhile.
- Dammit, we’re due.
On the flip side, Dwayne Haskins is amazing and our secondary gives up big plays to QB’s who are on a par with Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. He could literally throw for 650 yards. That could be a problem as could the fact that even without 5 or 6 first round picks out there, they still hold a significant talent advantage on poor old Nebraska.
But none of that matters this time around. The stars are aligning. Ohio St. is on the ropes and we’re ascending finally. (Minnesota and Bethune-Cookman, I know, I know, just roll with it)
This is our Rocky moment and what better place and in front of what better jerk of a coach to have it. Tell ‘em, Duke: